As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, your health and well-being remain our top priority. See below for information on topics related to COVID-19 including vaccine, treatment, and testing coverage, prescription refills, and telemedicine options.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, including vaccines and safety guidance, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, the New York State Department of Health, or the Vermont Department of Health.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccines

  • Does my health plan cover the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is covered under all MVP health plans and is free for all MVP members. There is no co-pay and $0 cost-share when you get the vaccine.

    MVP strongly encourages you to get the vaccine once it is available to you.

    For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including availability and other frequently asked questions, visit the New York State Department of Health, or the Vermont Department of Health.


  • Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

    Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe. Vaccines are only given to the public once they are determined to be safe and are approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Scientific data—including effectiveness and safety across ethnicities—from the COVID-19 clinical trials has been reviewed by the FDA and a separate independent advisory body, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.


  • What should I know about the vaccine for kids ages 5-11?

    The most important thing to know is that clinical trial data shows that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5-11. Side effects may occur and could include pain at the injection site, fatigue, and/or headache, which are likely to resolve within 1-2 days and are similar to the side effects seen with other vaccines children routinely receive.

    While children are less likely to have severe disease from COVID-19 than teens and adults, they are not immune to the disease. Some children have become very sick and required hospitalization, including healthy children who did not have underlying conditions – nearly one third of those children hospitalized have needed care in the ICU. Experts have concluded that the known benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risks of contracting COVID-19.

    Children between the ages of 5-11 receive a lower dose of the vaccine than people over the age of 12. The Pfizer vaccine (currently available and approved for use) is a two-dose series, separated by three weeks.

    Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11.

    Parents should also speak with their health care provider to discuss any questions or concerns they may have.


  • How can I get the vaccine?

    Everyone age 5 years and older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which can be administered at pharmacies, health care provider offices, and state-run vaccine sites. Appointments may be required, and some locations may offer walk-in vaccinations (no appointment necessary). Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.


  • Are adverse reactions to the vaccine covered?

    Yes. Treatment for any adverse reactions is medically necessary and covered by MVP. Members should refer to their schedule of benefits or call the Customer Care Center at the number located on the back of their MVP Member ID card for cost share information. Cost share is dependent upon place of service.


  • If I’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered, should I still get the vaccine?

    Yes. Even if you had COVID-19 and recovered, re-infection is possible. Studies have shown that immunity from the vaccine is more reliable than immunity from a natural infection of COVID-19.

    If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.


Testing and Treatment

  • Does my health plan cover COVID-19 testing?

    MVP covers the cost of COVID-19 testing at no cost share for members who have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have symptoms. For commercial members, MVP does not cover COVID-19 tests performed solely to assess health status, even if required by parties such as government/public health agencies, employers, common carriers, schools, or camps, or when ordered upon the request of a member solely to facilitate the member’s desire to self-assess COVID-19 immune status.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require that members of Medicare MSA plans who have not reached their deductible limit pay costs related to COVID-19 testing.

    Mobile Lab Test Collection

    If you need a COVID-19 PCR test but can’t make it to a testing location, mobile lab test collection through Scarlet Health® may be a good option for you. After scheduling an appointment, a Scarlet Health professional will take a test collection at your home and deliver it to the lab. You will receive an email with instructions for how to securely access your results online. Test results are available within 2-4 days.

    If you need a doctor to order a lab test for you, the easiest thing to do is download Gia® by MVP from the App Store or Google Play. Then start a consultation and ask your Gia provider to order your lab tests through Scarlet Health. Or, if you already have a printed lab order, visit mvphealthcare.com/labs and follow the instructions for uploading your order.

    Types of COVID-19 Tests

    Antibody tests detect whether a person has had a COVID-19 infection some time in the past. Antibody tests may not show if you currently have a COVID-19 infection. A lab-based viral test will tell you if you currently have COVID-19. It is not clear from current science whether testing positive on an antibody test offers protection from COVID-19 in the future.

    Viral tests detect whether a person has (or had) an active infection at the time the test is taken. Typically, these tests are used by people who have symptoms or believe they may have been exposed to the coronavirus recently. There are two types of viral tests: rapid tests and laboratory tests. Laboratory tests can take 3-5 days to complete and include PCR tests. These tests are more accurate than rapid tests. Rapid tests give results within the same day of testing, sometimes within 15 or 30 minutes. They can be taken at home or at a health care facility. If you are symptomatic and have a negative rapid rest, you should get a lab-based test to confirm that you are negative.

    If you test negative on a viral test, that does not mean you can’t get sick in the future. If you test positive on a viral test, visit the CDC’s website for advice on caring for yourself and others.


  • Over-the-Counter Test Coverage for Commercial Members and Self-Funded Plan Participants

    MVP will cover the cost of FDA-authorized over-the-counter (OTC) take-home COVID-19 antigen tests for commercial members and self-funded plan participants (health insurance through an employer).

    • Effective December 1, 2021, through January 14, 2022, Vermont commercial members may be reimbursed for up to eight retail OTC COVID-19 antigen test kits, per covered dependent per month (maximum of 16 tests per covered dependent per month).
    • Effective January 15, 2022, New York and Vermont commercial members, and self-funded plan participants may be reimbursed for up to eight retail OTC COVID-19 antigen tests, per covered dependent per month.

    See a complete list of covered OTC tests by visiting the FDA website. Examples include (but are not limited to): BinaxNOW™, Ellume, FlowFlex™, InteliSwab™, and QuickVue® . Tests may be purchased online or in-store.

    Tests may be purchased at and in-network pharmacy department (online or in store, in NY, VT, and any other state), at $0 charge if a claim is processed by the pharmacist online to MVP for most OTC tests. Tests paid for out-of-pocket (whether at in-network or out-of-network pharmacies when a claim is not processed) are eligible for reimbursement up to $12 per test.

    Please note: some pharmacies may not be able to process claims for at-home OTC COVID-19 tests at the pharmacy counter at this time. If this happens, members can pay for the test, then submit a request for reimbursement. Members with prescription drug coverage through MVP should complete the CVS Caremark Over-the-Counter At-Home COVID-19 Test Reimbursement Form, and members without prescription drug coverage through MVP should complete the MVP Claim Reimbursement Form.

    For more information on OTC at-home test reimbursement, contact the MVP Customer Care Center at the phone number on the back of your MVP Member ID card.

    *This information is subject to change.


  • Over-the-Counter Test Coverage for Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Essential Plan Members

    • Effective December 13, 2021, Medicaid members may receive two retail OTC at-home COVID-19 antigen tests per week (maximum of eight tests per month) at an in-network pharmacy. If medically necessary, additional tests are covered with a prescription from a doctor.
    • Effective January 3, 2022, Essential Plan members may receive up to two FDA-authorized OTC COVID-19 test kits per week until the end of the Public Health Emergency.
    • Effective January 21, 2022, Child Health Plus members may receive for two FDA-authorized COVID-19 test kits, per week, with no cost-sharing.

    Tests must be purchased at an in-network pharmacy department. There is no out-of-pocket cost when members present their MVP Member ID card at an in-network pharmacy.

    Coverage is limited to the following OTC tests*.

    • BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test
    • CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Home Test
    • FlowFlex™ COVID-19 Antigen Home Test
    • iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Home Test
    • InteliSwab™ COVID-19 Rapid Test
    • QuickVue® At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test

    For more information on OTC at-home test reimbursement, contact the MVP Customer Care Center at the phone number on the back of your MVP Member ID card.

    *This information is subject to change.

    Currently, Medicare members cannot receive reimbursement for OTC tests.


  • Does my health plan cover treatment for COVID-19?

    A cost-share will apply for COVID-19 treatment for most MVP Commercial health plans in New York. Self-funded plan members should check with their employer to see if they have adopted the waived cost-share guidance. MVP will cover COVID-19 treatment for most Commercial health plans in Vermont through March 31, 2023.

    Effective June 1, 2022, a cost-share will apply for COVID-19 treatment for MVP Medicare Advantage health plans.

    MVP covers COVID-19 treatment at no cost-share for MVP Medicaid health plans.


Routine Health Care

  • What options do I have for receiving health care?

    It is important to see your doctor for routine check-ups, screenings, and immunizations. Doctors have made changes to their offices to help keep patients and staff safe. Some of those safety measures include temperature checks, sterilizing surfaces, and screening everyone for COVID-19 symptoms.

    Additionally, many provider offices offer telemedicine, or virtual visits. Telemedicine allows you to speak with your doctor over the phone or via video. Most of what happens during an in-person visit can be done by telemedicine. You and your doctor can discuss:

    • Your overall health and lifestyle
    • Any screenings or immunizations you may need
    • Behavioral health concerns (includes mental health and substance use disorders)
    • Medications

    Learn more about Gia®, offering access to MVP’s virtual care services and health information you can trust.


  • How can I manage feelings of stress and anxiety?

    If you are feeling worried, stressed, or anxious, there are resources and health care providers who can help. Visit the CDC website for information on stress and coping during COVID-19. If you are looking for a behavioral health provider, use MVP’s Find a Doctor tool to search for a provider who participates in your MVP plan.

    You may also connect virtually with a behavioral health professional by using myVisitNow. This benefit lets you speak with a health care professional using a computer with a webcam, tablet, or smartphone.